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Ants, bants and a bit of music

AMBITIOUS: Jacqueline Shepherd (l) and co-host Remel London, right

WHAT’S UP TV makes a return to our screens this week and presenter Jacqueline Shepherd has told The Voice's Life & Style to look out for all things from insect eating to catching up with a future astronaut and as always lots of dancing.

It’s Shepherd’s fifth year with the show which she anchors alongside Remel London both of who form part of the team that bring Sky 1’s What’s Up TV to life.

This season's six-part series airs for 30 minutes every Saturday starting this weekend and will feature the likes of Trevor Nelson, Ellie Goulding, Bring Me the Horizon and the Compozers, as well as covering social issues such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and mental health.

“We just released the two minute teaser and someone on a social network said how they love the look of the show, the different guests that we have got and the fact that it looks really live and exciting,” Shepherd said.

She added:

“It’s a half-hour show and we pack so much in whether it’s comedy, current affairs or music.

“People's appetite for TV is changing and you can get bite sized information online and people's attention spans are very short so the beauty of our show is that we’ll introduce things like the idea of eating insets, which Remel and I went to Wales to do. Just as you’re getting your head around that we’ll have an interview with Trevor Nelson, so while you’re thinking that’s interesting we’ll have an interview about something else.”

Seeing Shepherd eating ants, which she says ‘tasted like falafel’, is a million miles from where the 30-something year-old (her words) started out.

Starting blocks

A former presenter on Colourful Radio Shepherd says a desire to branch out beyond the world of recruitment saw her embark on a journey into the world of media.

“I’ve been grafting for about seven or eight years. I was working in recruitment and then I just had a calling, something that I felt I should do, so I decided to leave my career in recruitment and literally just go for it.

“I worked as a runner, making the teas and doing all of those things and got some experience with lots of student productions and off of the back of that I got some good show reel material.

“Eventually the amateur productions lead to professional jobs, not necessarily television but it was paid work and then eventually it lead me to TV work as well. I love my job, I absolutely love it.”

While Shepherd, who has been promoted to assistant producer for this series of What’s Up TV, is immensely proud of the adulation the show has achieved (the show drew in a collective audience of over 250,000 for the last season making it one of Sky’s most popular programs) success hasn’t dimmed her ambition to continue climbing the professional ladder and she sees herself one day fronting a prime time gig on terrestrial TV.

“My bigger picture is primetime, entertainment television. That Saturday night slot.

“I’ve always pictured a cross between Oprah and Jonathan Ross in as much as interviews having the gravitas of Oprah but then having the entertainment value of Jonathan Ross. Funny yet meaningful. Getting the big names on, having a laugh but also getting to the nub of who they are.

“We don’t have that type of presenter or host on British TV, as in a black woman on primetime television and nailing it. It’s not that the talented woman and hosts are not out there but maybe the opportunity or timing hasn’t been there, I don’t know.

“I’m hoping I can get my timing right and as I grow as a presenter and a host, that’s what I’m working towards.”

What’s Up TV is on at 11:30am, Sky 1, every Saturday from January 7 for six weeks.

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